Homoeopathy for induction of labour

There is not enough evidence to show the effect of homoeopathy for inducing labour. Sometimes it is necessary to induce labour (getting labour started artificially) when a pregnant woman or her unborn child are at risk. Homoeopathy involves the use of diluted substances which in their undiluted form, cause certain symptoms. The principle is that a homoeopathic substance will stimulate the body and healing functions so that a state of balance is gained and symptoms are relieved. The review of two trials, involving 133 women, found there was not enough evidence to show the effect of a homoeopathy as a method of induction. More research is needed.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of homoeopathy as a method of induction. It is likely that the demand for complementary medicine will continue and women will continue to consult a homoeopath during their pregnancy. Although caulophyllum is a commonly used homoeopathic therapy to induce labour, the treatment strategy used in the one trial in which it was evaluated may not reflect routine homoeopathy practice. Rigorous evaluations of individualised homeopathic therapies for induction of labour are needed.

Read the full abstract...

This is one of series of reviews of cervical ripening and labour induction using standardised methodology. Homoeopathy involves the use, in dilution, of substances which cause symptoms in their undiluted form. A type of herb, 'caulophyllum' is one type of homoeopathic therapy that has been used to induce labour.


To determine the effects of homoeopathy for third trimester cervical ripening or induction of labour.

Search strategy: 

The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (1 December 2009), and bibliographies of relevant papers.

Selection criteria: 

Randomised controlled trials comparing homeopathy used for third trimester cervical ripening or labour induction with placebo/no treatment or other methods listed above it on a predefined list of labour induction methods.

Data collection and analysis: 

A generic strategy was developed to deal with the large volume and complexity of trial data relating to labour induction. This involved a two-stage method of data extraction. The initial data extraction was done centrally.

Main results: 

Two trials, involving 133 women, were included in the review. The trials were placebo controlled and double blind, but the quality was not high. Insufficient information was available on the method of randomisation and the study lacked clinically meaningful outcomes. This trials demonstrated no differences in any primary or secondary outcome between the treatment and control group.